It's almost time, sports fans. Super Bowl Sunday is nigh, and after weeks of waiting, the Knicks and Lakers are ready to face off to determine who is the ultimate champion. Here's everything you need to know to prepare for The Big Game:
SUPER BOWL FAQS
What time is the Super Bowl and how can I watch?
The Super Bowl is at 2 PM EST on MSG. It's not on national TV this year because sponsors figured pretty much everyone lives in either New York or Los Angeles, or at least knows someone having a party in one of those two places. Basic cost-saving measure.
Where is the Super Bowl?
New York City. Madison Square Garden is hosting its first-ever Super Bowl after MetLife Stadium in New Jersey played host in 2015.
How did the competitors get here?
The Lakers are coming off a dominant 13-win season in which they overcame Kobe Bryant's season-ending surgery to reach The Big Game. The Knicks won only 9 match-ups this season, but they're not the first low-seeded team to get hot in January and make a run at The Big Game.
How do the coaches compare?
Both Derek Fisher and Byron Scott are in their first years with their teams. Fisher is a rookie coach who has at times struggled to deploy team President Phil Jackson's Triangle offense, but has shown growth as a leader and tactician under trying circumstances. Scott is straight-up terrible. But here we are in the Super Bowl!
What are the most important matchups?
All eyes will be on the center matchup, as Jason Smith and Robert Sacre battle for dominance in the paint. Don't overlook the revenge factor for former Knicks Jordan Hill and Wayne Ellington.
Also be on the lookout for the matchup between Amar'e Stoudemire and Kobe Bryant. Amar'e has been getting all dressed up and tracking deflections. Will be interesting to see if the recently sidelined Kobe is still hustling on the sidelines or if he's just completely checked out.
Isn't there always an extravagant halftime show?
Yes. This year's Super Bowl halftime show features "Quick Change." People switch clothes really fast.
Everyone always talks about Super Bowl ads. What's up with those?
As always, big-ticket sponsors such as Lee's Toyota, Carmel Car Service, and the law offices of Cellino and Barnes will unveil exciting new ads-- and perhaps some viral videos-- for The Big Game.
Are there any other professional sporting events on Sunday?
The Heat and Celtics play at 1 PM EST, and there is a football game and probably some hockey games.
SUPER BOWL RECIPES
Hey team, one of the best parts of the Hyper Bole is getting to eat super bowls of the rockingest and jockingest snacks. Usually you are bumming around, but this year it's time to eat some donuts with the grown ups. You gotta belly up to the counter and chef something magnificent to really wow your friends. Here are a few easy and delicious recipes for you to follow!
Every big day should start with a huge vat of stuff that everyone can repeatedly thrust their fingers into. It's quick, easy, and can satisfy a pack of wolves while you prepare the appetizers and main course.
The Digital Athlete's Caramel Turtle Knicks Foods Mix
Ingredients: 3 boxes Rice Chex, 5 Boxes Corn Chex, 2 boxes Vanilla Chex, Box Honey Chex, 1 box Chocolate Chex, 6 bags Bagel Chips (assorted), 12 bags pretzels, 1 bag Choczels, 4 bags individually wrapped fun size milk chocolates, 25 ounces warmed caramel.
Directions: Take everything out of it's boxes, wrappers, bags etc. Isolate the Caramel. Line everything up like a domino maze on your floor. Place everything in vat. Caramel to taste.
Wow, guys, this is great! Can't wait to see what you have as an appetizer. The wait is over!
Galloway's All-Natural Combos
Ingredients: Pumpernickel Pretzels, Horseradish Pub Cheese
Directions: Leave Pretzels in bag, leave cheese in tub, place tub on belly, dip pretzels into tub and slide cheese onto pretzel. Pretend to be cute like an otter.
Ok wow. I'm not stuffed! Gotta be healthy now. I think we should have a salad.
Seth's Super Bowl Salad
Ingredients: Two heads of lettuce, one egg
Directions: Put two heads of lettuce in a bowl, crack an egg on top, salt and pepper to taste. And don't forget croutons!
Derek's Fish Head Coach Soup
SUPER BOWL Q&A WITH THE OPPONENT
We spoke to Harrison Faigen of Silver Screen and Roll. Here's what he had to say.
1. Many saw this as a likely down year-- a transition period-- for the Lakers. How do you explain their ability to defy expectations and make it to the Super Bowl?
An "us against the world" mentality provided by their old-school, defensive minded head coach Byron Scott. Using Scott's philosophies of eschewing gimmicky three pointers that "don't win championships" and getting back to hard-nosed, old-school basketball (Byron Scott played in the 80's in case he did not tell you yet), the purple and gold's style has flown in the face of their MANY basement dwelling internet haters.
So while teams like the Warriors and Hawks jump out to meaningless regular season accomplishments like "best overall record in their conferences" behind a Winter Storm Juno level torrential downpour of three pointers, it is the Knicks and Lakers who get the last laugh and will play on the biggest sports day of the year, Super Bowl Sunday.
2. What do you see as The Big Game's most important matchup, and who do you see winning MVP?
As in every modern Super Bowl, this game is going to come down to the quarterback matchup. For the Lakers, you have Jordan Clarkson, who has shown a lot of potential in his first four starts, averaging 13.8 points per game, after spending the first half of the season under the tutelage of All-time Grit and Toughness MVP Ronnie Price. He will be going up against Langston Galloway, who I had to look up and am still not entirely convinced is real.
For Knicks fans who have not been keeping up on Clarkson's development, he has shown a predilection for attacking the rim, but can become panicked and forced into using his still a work in progress jumper if the other team's big men do a good job staying back and cutting off his driving lanes.
But neither of those guys is my pick for MVP of this game. If the Lakers win, it will be due to that honor being grabbed by none other than former Knick Jeremy Lin, channelling his Linsanity level of play when reinvigorated by the energy of Madison Square Garden once again. In the event that does not happen, and the Knicks are the ones grabbing the Lombardi Trophy, my MVP pick would have to be Carmelo Anthony, given that the Lakers have been starting Ryan Kelly at small forward and have Wesley Johnson backing him up. If Melo plays, those two guys guarding him could get ugly quickly.
3. How will LA try to score against New York's 28th-ranked defense?
When going up against a defense like New York's, Los Angeles will likely look to score the same way they do against every team, by utilizing offensive rebounding (snagging 25.1% of their own misses) and mid-range jumpers (with 35.2% of their shots from that distance, while only converting 37.2% of them because CHAMPIONSHIP MENTALITY). Clarkson will look to get to the rim, Jordan Hill will fire up 17-foot not-jumping-shots, and Carlos Boozer will push people and scream a lot. With New York's dearth of big man defenders, if Ed Davis and Lin get to run a fair share of pick and rolls off of the bench, they could potentially grab some easy buckets on rolls and drives to the rim to decide this Super Bowl.
4. Do you have any Super Bowl traditions or superstitions you'll turn to as your team battles for a championship?
My normal Super Bowl tradition consists of sitting alone in my house crying because my San Diego Chargers missed it again. But this year since the Lakers are in it, I decided to make a dish inspired by the Lakers most recent championship.
Rebounding Wins Rings Rice Bowl
4.oz Kobe Beef (Kobe)
4 oz. Mahi Mahi (Fisher)
2 cups Spanish rice (Pau)
2 Cups Wheaties (Ron Artest)
1 bag Sour Patch Kids (Lamar Odom)
Sprinkle on a clutch bit of Bovec Cheese (Slovenian sheep milk cheese to honor the contributions of Sasha Vujacic) and you certainly have an edible dish! I will also light some incense like the great Phil Jackson to truly get into that championship mindset. There was originally an Andrew Bynum ingredient in here as well, but it won't be available for 4-6 weeks minimum.
5. Your outcome prediction?
This will be a titanic tank battle of the likes the world has not seen since World War II, but if I have to pick a team to "win", I predict the Lakers are the ones shaking hands with Roger Goodell when all is said and done. As I previously alluded to, Los Angeles has no one to guard Carmelo, who will be far and away the best player on the floor on Sunday. As painful as it will be to watch that Orange and Blue confetti fall on the former Lakers champions Jackson and Fisher, Los Angeles will have to console itself in getting closer to the Knicks in the Tank Rankings.
SUPER BOWL PREDICTIONS
Seth: Lakers 31, Knicks 20
Stingy: Knicks 70, Lakers 72, Knicks 73, Lakers win.